Baby We Had a Good Thing Going

There are some days in which standing up for yourself is almost entirely impossible, in which being who you are outwardly is unacceptable in your most basic moral code, in which you find yourself in the presence of people who can strip you of every powerful wall you’ve built between yourself and reality.

I went to visit an old woman who I love just as I love my own grandmother. She is among the kindest and most well-intentioned people in my life, and for this reason, I held my tongue and let her say whatever she wanted to say, even though I was having a nervous breakdown inside.

I recently broke up with a guy who is a close family friend to both hers and my own family. I finally ended the relationship, as I should have a very long time ago, but it hasn’t sat well with anyone around me. According to them, I was throwing away a blessing. How could I just let someone who was so in love with me go?

And I watched her as she went on and on about how I might not get another shot at someone like this, and how I could have control over him and what he does if I just take him back. She told me that I might not find anyone, and then eventually end up with someone abusive. She noted that I was not perfect, and should never expect to find someone who is.

Now, how do you tell someone who has no concept of asexuality that you are ar-ace? You can’t. Instead, you listen to her tell you all the different reasons you screwed up. Instead, you let everyone in the room tell you that you’re throwing your life away. Instead, you sit down, shut up, and wish you had an explanation anyone would accept.

Instead, you wait until you go home to think about how goddamn selfish you were to date him to begin with.

Have the Hero Hack It

There are moments in life in which we are forced to make decisions based on what we want versus what is good for us. I am not talking about the age-old, banal cliche that challenges mediocrity and bad choices in a considerably weak statement of the obvious.

“Sometimes you have to choose between what is right and what is easy.”

No shit, Sherlock.

No, what I am talking about is the extremely thin line between fear of consequence and actual pain.It may seem that I have just created an innovative way to say the exact same thing, but bear with me.

Neither fear of consequence nor acceptance of pain is easy. There is no simplicity in two choices that can force you into an astronomically vile pit of bitter nothing that you will have to drag your unwieldily self out of with an excessive amount of effort.

We both know you aren’t quite that muscular.

The reality of the situation is that death is not a choice. Ultimatums come in many different, sometimes inconceivable, forms. What will hurt the most? What will be the hardest to recover from? And what in a theoretical god’s name do you do if the resulting pain of both is equal?

And what happens when you have to choose between relief of your own pain and the incineration of someone else’s? Who do you love more? There is no right answer; just guilt and shame. It isn’t at all fair to claim that saving yourself over someone else is an act of evil. There is no law in the universe that says that, in order to be good, heroic, upstanding, you must sacrifice yourself for the sake of others–no matter the intensity of your love or how great they are in number.

Hero (noun): A person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.
-The Oxford English Dictionary

But our society has skewed this definition and created the notion that the opposite of this is egocentric, perhaps even narcissistic; But to stand down from nobility is not a selfish act. It is a decision to simply be.

But to come full circle to my original point, I have this to say: when you come to pick your poison, sometimes the best thing to do is close your eyes, pull your decision out of a hat and take a leap of faith.

A Seize, A Seize, A Public Seize

I have yet to tell this story, because it is probably the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me, very easily surpassing my mid-concert, smart-phone recorded, seizure of 2012.

I was going to class last Tuesday mind my own special type of business when I had an “aura.” An aura is something someone with epilepsy has that makes them aware that they are about to have a seizure. I was not in the most ideal place for a harlem shake; I was getting off the subway at the Broadway-Lafayette station, just steps away from being above ground, when I took the hit.

I lay down on the floor, and then came my partial seize, creeping up my left leg, not caring where I was or who was watching me. A crowd was drawn and I was the center of a very unwelcome attention, once more. Someone called the hospital, and they carted me off to New York Presbyterian Hospital.

My cousin came from New Jersey, and they discharged me, and just before she came, I got the feeling again. It was coming back, and I had to pee. I was dying to pee, but I couldn’t get out of the car. I couldn’t take another public display of bodily dysfunction.

I could not seize out there in the world, again.

We made it back to Brooklyn, and we sat outside my house, me shaking off the feeling of needing to pee and trying to push away yet another seizure.

I couldn’t get out, and I ended up having to pee in a cup in her car.

Side note: I seriously don’t know what I would do without her. I would have been beyond screwed. She drove like two hours just to make sure I got home safely. We decided to never speak of it again, but I owe her so damn much for that.

God knows what would have happened to me if I didn’t have that bitch in my life. I didn’t even ask her to come.

But I still vote worst day of my life.

My life is hell.

But that’s cool. Hell has cookies.

Oh wait, my blood sugar is unstable. I can’t even eat them.

Here’s a carrot, instead.

A-Tisket A-Tasket

There are moments in life in which we enter a state of consciousness that bears an ill-remembered resemblance to unconsciousness. It isn’t the automated actions we aren’t wired think of, but the fleeting breaths between realized instants in which we come at an absolute blank. Vilifying thoughts, recollections, feelings, each disintegrates into evanescent nonexistence, and though the use of force to cause the desist of one’s own demure thoughts for any increment of time is likely an impossibility—and an attempt to eradicate a memory by choice an inconceivable absurdity—the flashes of complete mental silence are a peaceful bounty, only if we can manage the tact to find them.

Life, for those who can truly be dubbed living, enforces two debilitating and fractious choices: either bow to the ultimate humiliation that is reality, or take the chance in stepping out of order to attempt innovation and successful freedom. The problem, unbeknownst to many who ignorantly find a compelling disposition for the latter, is that, regardless of our own consistent tendency to be obsequious or wanton attitudes, all will come to the same end when things come to a head, bar an elite few—who are in no way special. They have neither affliction nor genius, neither exceptional skill nor rewarding misfortune. They are simply lucky, and everyone struggling below the glass ceiling will continue to push until their arms tire and their hair grays. Such is life: a lurid, hellish experience with an egregious deadline that knows no age.

We can be lonely, empty, obdurate toward redemption, contrite for our very existence, afraid of the world and every enticing detail of its absolute disarray and tendency for fickleness, dissembled under a mask of fervidity that we so desperately cling to despite our constant urge to rip it off, and yet still happen to be the most upstanding individuals the people of our world have the toxic pleasure of crossing.

Excerpt.

     “Give that back!” she shouted at a boy who was no less than five inches taller than her.

     He grinned. “Make me.”

     He ran away, and she shot after him. They ran into the sea of trees that haunted the town just as the sun made its exit from the sky. She found herself drenched in a darkness that was only thinly penetrated by the meager light of the crescent moon that hung pathetically above her. An unnerving stillness blanketed the forest, the animals she had seen just moments before disappearing into their respective havens, clinging to a safety she would never find.

     The silence was deafening. She had heard nothing louder than the great lack of noise that brought all impending action in the forest’s night to a muted crashing halt. She could not bring herself to take a single step for fear that any sound she made would create a ripple effect of ultimate cacophony destined to ring out across the ominous compilation of trees and draw attention that she would do anything to evade.

     She heard a twig snap behind her and immediately shut her eyes. Nothing good would come of knowing what was about to attack her. She waited, taking care to remain as still as possible, but no other noise reached her ears. She let out a breath and opened her eyes, but as soon as her lids parted, she saw another pair of black pupils not two inches from her face.

     She stumbled back and fell over, twisting her ankle in the process. Almost as quickly as they had appeared, the eyes vanished. She saw nothing but darkness, again. Moments later, a shrill scream pierced the air. The sound was so high-pitched, so sharp, that she was unsure that it had even been human. The screaming was continuous, not a moment spared for breath, and it only seemed to grow louder with every passing tenth of a second.

     Just as she had managed to gain balance on her aching foot, the scream was accompanied by the sound of something crashing to the ground. So strong was the impact that the earth beneath her shook, forcing her to fall to her knees. She heard a howl in the distance, and someone—or something—was slamming what sounded like a thick bar of metal against a tree to her far right. The slamming steadily grew louder, as the being responsible moved from tree to tree, periodically connecting whatever weapon it wielded against trunks that would lead it right to her.

     She heard a silk, mirthless snickering to her left, this sound also playing on a perpetual loop without pause, joining the screaming in perfect mismatched harmony that drilled holes into her ears. The person assaulting the trees had come so close that she could hear the footsteps, as well as an unidentifiable humming that protruded from the voice box in its throat.

      Someone grabbed her and pulled her up, and just before she screamed, a hand covered her mouth. Her breathing came in short, painful gasps, and her heart beat so hard that it could be felt through her shirt.

      “Quiet,” the person said, and her panic dwindled as she recognized his voice. He pulled her up and held her face. “Nothing bad happens in Mathews County. Nothing bad ever happens in Mathews County.”

      The slamming, the screaming, and the laughing suddenly stopped. They fell into a agonizing silence once more.

      “We’re okay,” he said.

      As soon as the words left his lips, all three sounds erupted in unison around them. She nearly fell over, but he caught her. He pushed her behind him and faced the direction of the approaching assailant, her body shielded by his, leaving him defenseless and exposed.

      The humming resumed just as the screaming ceased, and the person approaching them began to hit the trees with greater force. The metal connected with the bark almost melodically, like violent church bells on a bitter Christmas night. It had drawn so close that the gentle connection of feet to floor faintly reached her ears even over the hums. The tune was soft, sad, as if meant to play at a wake or funeral. It was the sort of melody that could draw a crying child to a peaceful sleep and a peaceful widow to a sea of tears. There were no octaves that could rationally encompass the sound that wound itself around her, filling her lungs and stealing her breath, contaminating her intake of air with an emotionally jarring tune.

      Seconds later, the bat fell to the ground, and eyes appeared mere inches in front of them, again.